CIA (USA) Director David Petraeus has resigned, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a written statement Friday. The former Army general, who rocketed to global prominence as the man in charge of the “surge” in Iraq, quit over an extramarital affair, MSNBC reported.
“Today, CIA Director David Petraeus submitted his letter of resignation to the President,” Clapper wrote. “Dave’s decision to step down represents the loss of one of our nation’s most respected public servants.
“From his long, illustrious Army career to his leadership at the helm of CIA, Dave has redefined what it means to serve and sacrifice for one’s country,” continued Clapper, whose statement did not specify a reason for the decision.
Petraeus’ resignation letter began with an admission of poor judgement: “Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA. After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation.”
Petraeus went to work as CIA chief in September 2011 after heading up the war in Afghanistan. He had drawn fire in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attack on the American compound in Benghazi, Libya.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said President Barack Obama “will address this with a statement later.” But he declined to confirm the circumstances of the retired general’s departure. “I don’t have any details to give to you,” he said.